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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Be Smart About Entering Giveaways

I tend to enter more giveaways than the average person. I've cut back considerably from my earlier sweeping days. When I first started sweeping, I would find a sweepstakes list and enter every giveaway under the sun listed that I was eligible for, whether I needed/wanted the prize or not. One way I've cut back is by only entering in for prizes I (or someone in my family) want/need, or for those items, I feel I can resell easily and are worth my time trying to win.

There is only a limited amount of time in the day. Learn to spend it wisely. Don't spend it entering for prizes that aren't worth your time entering. One can take this to an extreme. I like winning Amazon gift cards. There are lots of giveaways for Amazon gift cards. Is it worth your time entering for those in the $5-10 range? I tend not to spend my time on those. I'd rather find the ones for higher value prizes, like $50+ and only enter those. Yes, I'm apt not to win as many giveaways for $50+ gift cards. However, I'm apt not to win 5-10 giveaways for $5-10 gift cards so I feel it is a better use of my time to only enter the higher value giveaways.

When entering giveaways beware of the gotchas that come along with the entries. It is popular for a bunch of authors to come together and offer a really nice giveaway prize. The contest is legit and the prize is worthwhile. I used to enter these. Recently I stopped. When you enter these giveaways you are automatically signed up for the mailing list of all thirty or some odd number of authors. I don't want to spend my time sifting through their mailing list messages or unsubscribing from them all. Some older giveaways switched your long distance carrier when you signed up for them and provided a phone number. More recently, signing up for a giveaway enabled the sponsor to call you with a time share offer or the ability to send unlimited text messages to you. I don't always read the rules myself but don't blindly enter giveaways for sponsors you aren't familiar with.
My biggest tip for you is to better watch who is sponsoring a giveaway. I recently ran across a tweet for a great prize. All I had to do was follow them, retweet the message, and comment on the tweet with a Done message. Really easy to enter. After entering, I looked at the account more closely as I was looking for a rules link, probably on their website. There was no website link. Then I noticed the account was just opened in January 2018, only had about 100 followers, was based in Germany, and supposedly had open giveaways for an iPhone X, PS4, and $500 cash, a new and different giveaway for each day of the year. I quickly removed my retweet and comment and unfollowed them. Just doesn't seem legit. In the past, I've gotten direct messages on Twitter with questionable links. Frequently, when this happens, I've noticed the accounts were like this where they offered questionable giveaways.

For the new year, be smarter with your time when sweeping. Don't waste it entering giveaways that you have no interest in the prize if you won. Don't waste it entering giveaways where you'll spend more time dealing with the side effects of entering. And most importantly, don't waste it entering giveaways where the sponsor is questionable. Learn to notice these better. If something looks too good to be true, it very might could be a fake giveaway just trolling for your information to resell.


Disclosure: Java John Z's did not receive compensation for this post.
*Read my Disclosure

16 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing some great tips!

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  2. Don't forget, you have to claim taxes on all of the stuff you win when you file your taxes. Tax laws have changed in the recent years and the IRS and FTC are cracking down. You need to keep a list of everything you win and if you win a certain dollar amount in a year, you have to claim it. Used to be just for higher value prizes, not anymore. The last time I checked, if all of the items you won throughout the year totaled up to $1,600 or more in retail value, you had to claim them. Get a notebook and document all your winnings, big and small.

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  3. My biggest problem is winning a giveaway for $100 or more just to find out you have to spend $200 to use the $100. It's a scam! Spend my time entering just to find out there's a catch.
    I too, spend way too much time on giveaways although it is always for something I or my family needs. Thanks John for posting this.

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  4. Another type of giveaways that I have a problem with are daily entries. I understand the traffic and all but when you have to spend over 2 hrs. ea day to do daily entries for all the bloggers (maybe 15-20)it seems more of a chore and especially if they are daily comments.

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  5. I have also slimmed down what I enter to win. I find myself running into issues with twitter. I only tweet once a day but still find myself getting "booted off" twitter and having to wait for a call or text for a code to get twitter turned back on. I now make sure I'm not tweeting back to back.

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  6. Thank you for your suggestions! I entered a blog last year and was notified I had won. I immediately emailed the site owner and she never responded....after four emails. I then reached out on facebook and was immediately blocked! I then contacted her on her blog and she finally responded. She said all my emails had gone to her junk folder (yeah, right). She then was mad that I complained and drew a new name! Soon after she took her blog down and now she is back under a new blog name. I would never enter any of her giveaways as she is dishonest and I am surprised she still has Sponsors.

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  7. Alice F. I ran into someone like that too. I wonder if it is the same person. I have won great prizes and had to bug the blogger just to receive my prize. That is no fun!!! For the most part, I have great bloggers that want you to receive your prize and they are helpful. Have fun and listen to these suggestions on this page! Good luck everyone!

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  8. Good sweepstakes advice for the new year.

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  9. Great advice! I keep getting blocked on twitter from the daily retweets and having to do a text code to get back in all the time. Support said our retweets for giveaways fall into a spam robot finder they have and it blocks us. And the above comment I agree with. Doing dailies for 20 comments, and a ton of things is wasting time, no matter what the entries, everyone has same chance, but doing all that daily just adds to the burn out. I had a delivery that was almost taken twice off my porch..it was a giveaway that I was NOT told I won and the prize just shipped. Not nice to have UPS leave a package in -4 degree weather I didn't know was coming and prepared for or even opened my door to look for.

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    1. Sorry to hear you had some wins stolen. I nearly always confirm with winners first. Sometimes with electronic wins like movie passes I just "ship" via email.

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  10. Great post! I've cut way back, too, and recently unsubscribed from all those author emails. Not entering those anymore! One thing I'd add... if you enter a giveaway sponsored by a magazine you'll most likely be subscribed (and billed after 30 days) to the magazine. Then you have to take the time to unsubscibe. Instead look just above the form where it has the rules. There will be a link to click to a page where you can enter without subscribing.

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  11. Entering giveaways does give us experiences to share and not always favorable ones.
    I too enter ONE giveaway for money where you were automatically signed up for infinite number of authors and as you said I will NEVER do that again. I am still unsubscribing from those 72 authors.
    I think I have had two bloggers not send me my prize, well three. One started blogging again under the same name and I am going to worry the hell out of her. It isn't so much the prize but the principle.
    I feel the same way about $5, $10 etc giveaways. There are so many above that amount that I do not see a point in wasting time on them. Occasionally I will buy it depends on the blogger.
    Thanks for your tips. I try to read the rules on most all I enter. And do find some questionable therefore won't enter them either.
    Thanks again.

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    1. And I probably won't worry the hell out of the blogger but have thought about it. It does not bother me to post a name when they do such. It isn't ethical and people need to know that.

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  12. AMEN to everything you wrote...to add one thing, keep track of the value of EVERYTHING you win as we are required (in the US) to count the values under "other income".

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